Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Devils to name Ruff as head coach - report
The New Jersey Devils are hiring Lindy Ruff as head coach, NHL Network's Kevin Weekes reported Wednesday. Ruff, 60, previously served as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres for 15 seasons (1997-2013) and the Dallas Stars for four seasons (2013-17). He ranks sixth all-time in career wins (736) and seventh in games coached (1,493).
Ryder Cup postponed due to coronavirus
This year's Ryder Cup, which was scheduled to be held in late September in Wisconsin, has been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Wednesday. The hotly-contested biennial team competition between the United States and Europe, known for its raucous, partisan crowds, was originally scheduled for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits. It will now be held Sept. 24-26, 2021.
Players raise fists, take a knee prior to return match
Players raised gloved right fists and took a knee before Major League Soccer's first match in four months on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the 'Black Lives Matter' social justice movement. Some players wore t-shirts over their jerseys with the words "Black and Proud" and "Silence is Violence" before the match, and the Orlando City and Inter Miami starting line-ups took a knee just before the 'MLS is Back' tournament kicked off.
Amazon removes Washington Redskins merchandise from website
Amazon.com Inc is pulling Washington Redskins merchandise from its website, with sellers given 48 hours to review and remove any products flagged by the e-commerce giant, according to a note sent to sellers by the company. An Amazon spokeswoman confirmed the move by the company.
Padres infielder Mateo tests positive for coronavirus
The San Diego Padres said Wednesday that recently acquired middle infielder Jorge Mateo has tested positive for coronavirus. Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Mateo is experiencing symptoms, including loss of smell, and is currently in self-quarantine.
NASCAR driver Johnson cleared to race after negative COVID-19 tests
Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has been cleared to race this weekend at Kentucky Speedway after twice testing negative for COVID-19, NASCAR officials said on Wednesday. Johnson, 44, became the first NASCAR driver to test positive for the coronavirus last Friday, forcing him out the of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the weekend.
Not all fun and games as NBA moves into 'Most Magical Place On Earth'
Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park is billed as the "The Most Magical Place On Earth," but NBA players arriving at the Florida resort on Wednesday to prepare for the restart of their COVID-19 season can expect something more dreary than fun. Living for months in a quarantined bubble designed to shield them from Florida's surge in novel coronavirus cases the Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando will be home for some of the planet's best-paid athletes.
'Champion athlete, champion bloke': Australia pays Pullin tribute
Former snowboard world champion Alex Pullin, who died on Wednesday at the age of 32, will be missed as much for his personality as for his sporting prowess, Australian Olympic Committee Vice President Ian Chesterman said on Thursday. Pullin, the son of ski hire shop owners who was known from a young age as "Chumpy", drowned while spear-fishing on the coast of Queensland, plunging Australia's winter sports community into mourning.
Djokovic addresses 'witch hunt', says he's unsure of U.S. Open
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic said he has been the subject of a "witch hunt" by his critics since several players tested positive for the coronavirus during his regional Adria Tour tennis event last month. Djokovic also admitted on Wednesday to being uncertain as to whether he will participate in the U.S. Open, scheduled from Aug. 31-Sept. 13.
Pelicans' Gentry cleared for NBA restart: report
New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has been cleared to travel with his team to Florida for the NBA's restart to the season, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday. Gentry, 65, had been one of the league staff members undergoing further scrutiny before play resumes at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.